"These are the dimensions of the altar, using the long (twenty-one-inch) ruler. The gutter at its base is twenty-one inches
deep and twenty-one inches wide, with a four-inch lip around its edge.
The altar hearth is another seven feet high. Four horns stick upward from the hearth twenty-one inches high.
"The top of the altar, the hearth, is square, twenty-one by twenty-one feet.
The upper ledge is also square, twenty-four and a half feet on each side, with a ten-and-a-half-inch lip and a twenty-one-inch-wide gutter all the way around. "The steps of the altar ascend from the east."
Then the man said to me, "Son of man, God, the Master, says: 'These are the ordinances for conduct at the altar when it is built, for sacrificing burnt offerings and sprinkling blood on it.
"'For a sin offering, give a bull to the priests, the Levitical priests who are from the family of Zadok who come into my presence to serve me.
Take some of its blood and smear it on the four horns of the altar that project from the four corners of the top ledge and all around the lip. That's to purify the altar and make it fit for the sacrifice.
Then take the bull for the sin offerings and burn it in the place set aside for this in the courtyard outside the Sanctuary.
"'On the second day, offer a male goat without blemish for a sin offering. Purify the altar the same as you purified it for the bull.
Then, when you have purified it, offer a bull without blemish and a ram without blemish from the flock.
Present them before God. Sprinkle salt on them and offer them as a burnt offering to God.
"'For seven days, prepare a goat for a sin offering daily, and also a bull and a ram from the flock, animals without blemish.
For seven days the priests are to get the altar ready for its work, purifying it. This is how you dedicate it.
"'After these seven days of dedication, from the eighth day on, the priests will present your burnt offerings and your peace offerings. And I'll accept you with pleasure, with delight! Decree of God, the Master.'"
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)